Friday, April 10, 2015

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Reading suggestions for a rainy and foggy mid-March weekend

I've been doing a poor job lately of providing actual content for the blog, so the least I can do is offer up some suggestions for important, cool and silly things to read elsewhere on the internet. This list was compiled over the past couple of months. Hopefully there's something here for everyone.

And stick with me, please, I promise there will be some new ephemera posts down the road.

Serious stuff

Not-so-serious stuff

Friday, March 6, 2015

Book cover: "Six Little Bunkers at Miller Ned's"

  • Title: Six Little Bunkers at Miller Ned's
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Pages: 246
  • Author: Laura Lee Hope (pseudonym)
  • Illustrator: Walter S. Rogers
  • Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap, New York
  • Year: 1924
  • Notes: "Six Little Bunkers" was a 14-book series published by the Stratemeyer Syndicate between 1918 and 1930. ... The series was described thusly in this advertising copy from Grosset & Dunlap:
    "Delightful stories for little boys and girls which sprung into immediate popularity. To know the six little Bunkers is to take them at once to your heart, they are so intensely human, so full of fun. Each story has a little plot of its own -- one that can be easily followed -- and all are written in Miss Hope's most entertaining manner. Clean, wholesome volumes which ought to be on the bookshelf of every child in the land."
    ... All of the books in the series involved the six children being at someone's place. Other books had them at Aunt Jo's, Grandpa Ford's, Cowboy Jack's, Mammy June's, Indian John's, Happy Jim's and Lighthouse Nell's, for example. ... The children were named Mun Bun, Russ, Rose, Violet (Vi), Margy and Laddie. Vi and Laddie were twins. Rose was the oldest girl. Laddie liked to speak in riddles. Margy was a friend to stray cats. Mun Bun's full name was Munroe Ford Bunker.
  • Excerpt:
    "The six little Bunkers were also growing — growing fat and sturdy — and they were getting to be as tanned and brown as a russet shoe, so Daddy Bunker said. For they played out in the sunshine and fresh air all day long. That is, when the weather was good. When it rained they played in the house, the barn, or in the mill."

Thursday, March 5, 2015

1910 postcard to Conyngham: "I'm going to take a trip."

The vintage joke postcard — and it's a bit of a cruel prank that's pictured — was published by Bamforth & Co. of Holmfirth, England, and New York.1 It was mailed in January 1910 from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, to Conyngham, Pennsylvania, a small borough in Luzerne County that is named after American Revolution hero Captain Gustavus Conyngham (pictured at right).2

The postcard was addressed to Albert G. Harvey and the message on the back states:
"Look for me Saturday Evening on the 8 O'clock train. I expect Uncle Frank will be with me. Uncle James."

1. Previous posts featuring Bamforth & Co. postcards include:
2. Fun fact: Conyngham's sister village is Drums.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I hope Yuriy Sosnitskiy becomes a famous artist

I recently sent a Postcrossing card to Yuriy and Nataly Sosnitskiy in Kharkov, Ukraine. After receiving it, Nataly emailed me:
"We are very happy to have such a beautiful postcard with cool postmarks! Yuriy especially like postmark with a Batman:) He is a painter and now he illustrated his own book for children. You can see his work in google - Yuriy Sosnitskiy. We also dream about our own business."
So, of course, I Googled Yuriy and ... wow!

Here are a few of his pieces of artwork that I really loved...


Road to Home


Odessa No3


See more of Yuriy's artwork here. I told them that I hope his work finds a wider audience and appreciation in the near future. Some of his paintings would look great as prints on a wall. But, of course, I also told them that these would make great postcards! (More my price range, too.) Nataly said that was indeed their hope, too, and that they're especially excited about Yuriy's new children's book. "We hope to send you our own card some day," she concluded.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Six illustrations from 1920's "Primer of Sanitation"

Primer of Sanitation by John W. Ritchie is subtitled "Being a Simple Textbook on Disease Germs and How to Fight Them."

The 1920 revision serves as Book II in the New-World Health Series, published by the World Book Company. The book delves into germs, bacteria, tetanus, diphtheria, pneumonia, whooping cough, tuberculosis, consumption, typhoid fever, mosquito-borne diseases and other somber topics. In the preface, Ritchie writes:
"The author has therefore followed with sympathy and very great interest the efforts that are being made to teach sanitation in the public schools, and has felt that the effectiveness of these efforts would be very greatly increased if they were supplemented by an elementary textbook in this field."
The textbook's illustrations were done by Karl Hassmann

Here are some of them, presented without editorial comment on my part. (Readers, please feel free to discuss these 95-year-old notions of healthy and hygiene.)

"The great outdoor world is practically free from germs."

"Consumptives taking the winter air on a city roof."

"This house was so infested with mosquitoes that the owner was about to sell it at a sacrifice, when he learned from a health official that a half-hour spent in draining the ditch or in sprinking it with kerosenee would free his family from annoyance and the danger of disease."

"It is never safe to use public drinking cups."

"In a light and well-ventilated room germs are killed by the light and drying."

"In both city and country the public health nurse is becoming one of the most important agents in the prevention of sickness. Day afer day she moves about among the people, advising them on matters of health."

Friday, February 27, 2015

Telegram: Sandra & Leonard Nimoy plead with JFK for a safer planet

Years before Star Trek, Leonard Nimoy hoped that the planet Earth would live long and prosper.

This afternoon, in the wake of Nimoy's death, the JFK Library tweeted out the above image of a telegram that Nimoy and his first wife, Sandra, sent to John F. Kennedy at the White House in 1962.

It states:
Mashable's Megan Specia provides some background and context for the telegram in this article.

While the telegram did not stop the Starfish Prime high-altitude nuclear test, its simple plea on pink paper is worth remembering. We'll never, of course, reach the universe's distant stars and planets if we destroy our own.

Apple crumb pie for Jack Benny and Canadian cheese soup for Bob Hope

"How to hold a star" is a 12-page staplebound recipe booklet that was published in 1950 by the Edison Electric Institute.1

It's one of the most sexist things you can imagine.

Which was par for the course in the United States in 1950.

The introduction states:
"Like clever wives everywhere, the wives of movie stars know that there's more truth than poetry in the old saying, 'the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.' ... On the pages that follow, you will find how the wives of top-notch motion picture husbands 'hold their stars' by cooking their favorite recipes the modern way — with a modern Electric Range."
And so we get pages of recipes and photos in which women who only get to exist as "Mrs. Pat O'Brien" and "Mrs. Gene Autry" share the recipes that apparently kept them in good standing with their Hollywood husbands.

Here's the full rundown:

  • Jack Benny: Apple Crumb Pie
  • Pat O'Brien: Savory Beef Stew
  • Bob Hope: Canadian Cheese Soup
  • Robert Young: Ham-Yam Casserole
  • Gene Autry: Veal Chops California
  • Alan Ladd: Hamburger Rodeo
  • Eddie Cantor: Almond Chicken Casserole
  • Broderick Crawford: Mixed Grill

Here are two of the pages from the booklet...

And here are the two above recipes typed out for your convenience, in case you want to try to wrangle a movie star of your own.

Apple Crumb Pie
Made by Mary Livingstone for her husband
  • 7 cups peeled, sliced apples
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange rind
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sifted, enriched flour
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • whipped cream
Place apples in greased deep pie pan; add orange juice. Combine sugars, orange rind, spices, salt and flour. Cut in butter or margarine with 2 knives or pastry blender. Spread evenly over apples. Bake in moderate oven, 350° F. 1 hour. Top each serving with flavored and sweetened whipped cream. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Canadian Cheese Soup
Made by Dolores L. DeFina for her philandering husband
  • 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cans condensed consomme
  • 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Dash tobacco
  • 1/4 cup minced pimientoes
Melt butter or margarine; blend in flour, paprika and pepper. Add milk; cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Add consomme, just as it comes from the can. Add cheese; stir until melted. Add remaining ingredients, salting to taste. Serve at once. Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

1. The Edison Electric Institute is still around and is holding its 2015 convention this June in New Orleans. Just FYI.